New project aims to enhance cyclist safety

Dec, 13 2023

In a noteworthy step towards improving cyclist safety on roads, a pioneering project titled "Advanced Tool for the Development and Evaluation of Protection Systems for Bicyclists" has been initiated. The project, funded by the Swedish Transport Administration, aims to develop tools for assessment and development of protection systems for cyclists and other road users, focusing shoulder impacts.

Why this is important
With bicyclists constituting 50% of seriously injured individuals in traffic incidents (Trafikverket 2020) and the shoulder being the most frequently injured body part (Stigson et al., 2019), the SAFER HBM emerges as a promising tool for the evaluation of such injuries. The expected results include a refined shoulder model integrated into SAFER HBM including tools to assess injury risk when impacted, facilitating cost-effective and detailed evaluation of shoulder injuries. The outcomes will not only contribute to the development of virtual assessment methods for cyclist protection but also realistic physical test methods for laboratory use and evaluation of protective gear for bicyclist protection.

Project objectives
The primary goal of the project is to enhance evaluation methods and tools, specifically the SAFER Human Body Model, to develop effective protection for cyclists and other vulnerable road users exposed to shoulder impacts. The morphable biofidelic human body model SAFER HBM, will be further refined to enable evaluation of injury risks for road users of different sexes, sizes, and ages. The project will also involve the generation of crucial data through physical crash tests to identify areas where SAFER HBMs can be instrumental in the development of bicycle protection.

The project will deliver a SAFER HBM model with refined morphable shoulder, humerus, and elbow joint by early 2024. This model will be capable of predicting shoulder kinematics for vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users for shoulder impacts. The anticipated deployment of SAFER HBM globally in 2024 marks a significant step toward advancing cyclist safety worldwide.

The refined SAFER HBM model is anticipated to lead to safer cycling, improved protection in the event of an accident, and enhanced infrastructure evaluations resulting in increased cycling. The plans are to make SAFER HBM accessible to all, ensuring widespread dissemination of the model and project results.

The total budget for the project is 7,800,000 SEK, with 50% funding (from the Swedish Transport Administration) amounting to 3,900,000 SEK.

It is a collaborative effort between industry and academia and involves experts from various fields, including Bengt Pipkorn and Jolyon Carroll, from Autoliv, Lotta Jakobsson and Jonas Östh from Volvo Cars, Johan Iraeus, Johan Davidsson and Chiara Fichera (PhD student), from Chalmers University and Helena Stigson, Folksam.